For the first time in 17 years the government is shutting down. The unstable relationship between Democrats and Republicans is now causing the two parties to have met their middle to shut the doors on federal services. Like any nasty separation or argument, very rarely are the two offenders troubled or affected. The people affected are federal employees who are wondering if they should report to work tomorrow. What does the federal shutdown mean for these employees?
- Federal employees should remain alert to automatic messages hitting their phones or checking their e-mails. Federal agencies will be corresponding with their employees in this method. Some federal employees have reported to Guardian Express they may be allowed a half-day tomorrow. This time allows them to secure files, lock down workstations and turn the lights off until the governing agency calls them back to work.
- This shutdown affects the government the same way as furlough days; these would be unpaid days for federal employees. Not affected would be critical services such as air traffic controllers and military operations. Federal offices, including the post office would be closed as well as National Parks to anyone who may be vacationing.
- The shutdown would affect over 800,000 federal employees from the 2 million on the payroll. While military personnel will remain on the clock, it is not guaranteed their pay will be timely.
- There is a possibility that missed furlough days may be reimbursed, however, this is not guaranteed. Overall, the final determination rests on the governing agency and/or Congress.
Please, be advised for those citizens awaiting pension checks and social security checks, checks will continue. Rumors have suggested citizens may feel the affect when it comes to their retirement or disability income. That has been unfounded and checks will continue to be cut for those individuals. The government has been in a heavy deadlock and neither side was willing to budge, resulting in the looming shutdown now occurring, affecting a majority of federal workers. Only Congress and the White House can make amends to cease the internal war happening in Washington. The heavy scrutiny and outcry from the public can place immense pressure on the politicians to reinstate services.
This article is not about the rights or wrongs of the situation, it is about the reality of it. If employees do not receive a phone call or e-mail please report as normal to your workplaces and positions will be deemed by the agency as essential or non-essential. The 12:00 a.m. deadline has arrived and passed with no agreement between the House and Senate. Expect interruptions unless the government can come together for an agreement prior to the gates shutting for good. The funding bill has failed to pass and the government is at an impasse as over 800,000 federal employees await news. Guardian Express will update the public with any additional breaking news.
By: Angelina Bouc